Our Team

Seth Jacobson

Principal
Seth Jacobson is one of the nation’s leading communications specialists, with more than 25 years experience in branding, corporate communications, public affairs and public relations. Jacobson has created specialized branding and advocacy programs for companies and organizations competing in the new global marketplace. He began his career designing communications campaigns for business and political leaders.

Beyond his work in the public sector, he has executed communications programs and media ventures for Celanese Corporation, Computer & Communications Industry Association, Raytheon, Ferrari / Maserati North America, Apple's Internet Initiative, Chevron USA, The Daniel Pearl Foundation, Eli Lilly, Bombardier Recreational Products, PHARMA, Veritainer Corporation, Albemarle Corporation, the Mercury Free Partnership among others. He has created specialty outreach programs and communications strategies for public agencies such as: US State and Commerce Departments, State of California 's Business Development and Marketing Program, California's Teen Pregnancy Initiatives and work with the United Nation's.

Prior to starting JCI, he spent 12 years leading the western divisions of two of the nation's largest public relations / advertising agencies - Ogilvy & Mather, and Edelman Public Relations - where he ran divisions responsible for public affairs, public relations and new technology. Before coming to California, Jacobson spent four years working in Washington, D.C., including several years in the Carter and Clinton administration in positions focused on technology, economic development and foreign policy.

Jacobson is a contributing writer to national publications, and is a lecturer on communications and public relations at UCLA and other universities.

Steven C. Crosby

Senior Advisor
Steve Crosby was most recently Senior Vice President of Frontier Communications Corporation www.frontier.com (NASDAQ: FTR; a Fortune 500 and an S&P 500 company) responsible for the legislative and regulatory affairs for half of the country for Frontier. Frontier is the largest telecommunications company in the United States with a focus on serving rural, small towns as well as urban centers in the 29 states where it operates. Immediately prior to Frontier, Crosby managed Vulcan Inc.’s (a Seattle-based company) corporate communications department which encompassed public, media relations as well as government and community relations at the local, state and federal level. His additional duties included marketing, advertising, graphic design, event management and internal communications. Vulcan Inc. www.vulcan.com is the privately held company for global investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen co-founder of Microsoft.

With over 30 years of experience with a wide-variety of clients and issues, Crosby has a broad range of skills in corporate communications including strategic and crisis communications, issues management, media training, branding/corporate image, sports public relations, land-use, permitting/entitlement, fundraising, government/community relations to grassroots and coalition-building.

Prior to joining Vulcan Inc. he worked at AT&T Wireless (AWS) and its predecessor Los Angeles Cellular Telephone Company (LACTC), in the Southern California regional office in charge of both public relations as well as government affairs aspects for AWS

Ron Wong

JCI Advisory Board member
Ronald W. Wong has more than twenty-five years of professional experience executing and managing communications strategies, government relations, public affairs and business development for Fortune 500 companies, elected officials, government entities and individuals.

Mr. Wong has unrivaled experience and contacts in business, politics and government at the state, national and local levels. He is a recognized expert in marketing, business development and strategy development.

Currently, Mr. Wong is President & CEO of Imprenta Communications Group, an award-winning public affairs, ethic marketing and campaign firm. Imprenta was recently recognized by Inc 500, as one of the Fastest Growing Companies in America. Imprenta is the 12th largest PR agency in Southern California and 9th Fastest Growing Company in L.A. County in 2015.

Mr. Wong served as the Chief Deputy Appointments Secretary to California Governor Gray Davis. He also helped select and recruit members of Governor Davis’ cabinet as a member of the Governor’s transition team. In 1997, President Clinton tapped Mr. Wong to serve as Director of External Communications for the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Services. From 1994 to 1997, Mr. Wong served as Founding Partner of Lang, Murakawa & Wong (LMW), a strategic communications, marketing and public affairs firm.

Yesenia Vargas

Senior Account Executive
Yesenia Vargas specializes in community engagement and communications. At JCI she has worked in coalition-building, media relations and event management for Energy Upgrade California, awareness campaigns for Identifying Dyslexia, and public opinion research in tandem with Latino Decisions.

Yesenia is heavily involved in community revitalization causes, and is currently a teacher with the Institute for Educational Advancement. She previously worked in public affairs for the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, editing and social media at the Center for Public Diplomacy, and psycho-social services at the Cape Town Refugee Center. Yesenia also engages in international politics as a member of the Pacific Council and a freelance journalist. She holds an MA in Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California, as well as a BA in Political Science and a BA in French from Centenary College of Louisiana.

John Garside

Senior Account Executive
John has extensive expertise working in coalition development and community outreach. His specialty is working with community based organizations and developing complicated programs to support corporate and educational initiatives. John studied public policy at the Public Policy Institute at Santa Monica College. He has been working to facilitate the efforts of Energy Upgrade California’s broad statewide educational campaign and assisting in work around creating improved building standards in Los Angeles.

Emily Pflaster

Senior Advisor
Emily serves as Senior Advisor to JCI after a decade of experience of senior positions for national political and consumer campaigns. Her leadership in persuasion and development campaigns include work with Amnesty International, Environmental Action, The American Civil Liberties Union, the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, MoveOn, and Forests Forever. Emily has consulted with corporations, governments, and community organizations to creatively achieve new ideas and overcome obstacles through innovative advocacy and problem solving.

Emily is an alumna of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, and came to JCI with extensive relationships and experience related to water, energy, and foreign policy. She is an expert in strategic communication, movement building, project development, persuasive writing, and crisis management.

With JCI, Emily has executed a statewide persuasion campaign related to voter perception of the Florida 2014 Gubernatorial race. Working with diplomatic allies in the United States, she has developed extensive and lasting community connections and inroads for positive Muslim-Jewish relations and has helped to advance global dialogue on specific and complex issues of foreign policy. Emily advocated and organized support for the Computer Communications Industry Association on issues of privacy and government checks and balances, and works with local leaders to protect their communities against and during energy and environmental crises.

Also deeply engaged with creative, political, and Jewish communities, Emily lived and studied in Israel and graduated Cum Laude from American Jewish University, with an emphasis on the psychology of voting.

Jessica Childress

Consultant
Jessica Childress has been a key component of the JCI team since 2006. Her expertise lies in government relations, brand development and crisis communications. At JCI, she has been instrumental in developing and executing diverse campaigns for such clients as Raytheon, VeriTainer and Big Air Studios. Prior to JCI, Jessica served as an education consultant at NASA Dryden in Edwards, CA, creating and implementing earth and space science curriculum for primary and secondary schools. Jessica is a graduate of Pepperdine University.

Lauren Dubois

Financial Services Consultant
Lauren DuBois is an independent communications consultant. She previously worked at Sloane & Company, an award-winning strategic communications agency in New York, Lauren was promoted to Senior Associate, the youngest in the firm’s history. After a year in this position, Lauren left Sloane & Company to launch her own public relations practice. She currently provides communications strategy and media relations services for one of the top telecommunications providers in the world, for a web-based, venture-capital-backed start-up in the real estate industry, for an estate planning law firm, and for an international association of public safety communications professionals.

Andrew Frank

New York Consultant
Andrew brings a wealth of experience in a number of areas, including crisis communications, public affairs and media skills. An expert in creating communications strategies, Andrew has 25 years of experience overseeing and implementing crisis preparation; managing product recalls; financial and/or regulatory issues; and identifying and managing communications issues around complicated litigation.

Prior to founding Karv Communications, Andrew served for 15 years in various positions at Strategy XXI Partners and Kreab Gavin Anderson, including Managing Partner. From 1992-1997 he was a political appointee in the Clinton Administration, including Managing Director of the United States Information Agency’s New York Foreign Press Center, and Senior Adviser for Communications to the Director of U.S.I.A.

He is a Board Member of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Council on Germany, graduated from The George Washington University in Washington D.C., and studied at Syracuse University’s London Centre. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Crisis Communications at Fordham University Graduate School of Business, a guest lecturer at Columbia University, American University and others.

Robert Wynne

Senior Advisor
Robert Wynne is a communications executive with more than 20 years experience in public relations, marketing and journalism. Wynne held positions of leadership in public relations and marketing for a law firm, a developer and for the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. Wynne has provided strategic counsel, public relations and marketing strategies along with event planning and production for Cornell University’s Johnson School, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, MIT, UCLA Law School, the law firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and many others. He worked as a reporter for Newsweek magazine and the Los Angeles Times. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and earned a master’s degree in communications from the University of Texas at Austin. Wynne created the Business Access Media (BAM) conference which brings the world’s top MBA programs to meet with the top financial media and the ENGINE event for Engineering Schools. He writes a public relations column for Forbes.com.